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Nature Nights

Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. starting June 12, 2014

Join us for family fun Thursday evenings this summer. Nature Nights are fun explorations of plants, animals, and the ecology of Central Texas. Each evening features interactive presentations, hikes with experts in their fields, and educational activities for kids of all ages. Nature Nights are supported through volunteer efforts by Capital Area Master Naturalists and other community partners.  Thanks to H-E-B, admission to the Wildflower Center will be free the day of Nature Nights as well as those nights.

The Cafe will be open until 8:00 p.m. serving their regular menu items.

Kids 12 and under receive a free gift in the Gift Store.

Please come early as the parking lot fills up quickly. If the lot is full, please park on the street. Please only park in designated parking spots.

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2014 Summer Nature Nights Schedule

Thursday, June 12 - Plants and Play in the NEW Luci and Ian Family Garden

Come play with us and learn about plants at our first Nature Nights program in the new Luci and Ian Family Garden! Bill Oliver and The Otter Space Band perform at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Like chess? Play on a giant chess set in our Play Lawn. Try your luck at our ring toss. See what plant critters we have at the Plant Petting Zoo. Commander Ben is bringing back his Invasive Hunter Academy to teach kids of all ages about invasive plant species. If you missed the Kite Festival, never fear kids can make and fly a kite in the Play Lawn. Habitat hikes, a scavenger hunt, BIG bubbles and more. This will be a night of fun in our nature playland!

In the Store: Family Garden T-Shirts on special, and Annette Lucksinger signs her guidebook, "Exploring Austin with Kids" from 5 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 19 - Fossils

If you are a fossil hunter, this Nature Night is for you! Explore the Paleontological Society of Austin’s hands on fossil table. Try your jumping skills at our Dino Footprint Jump. Join the Austin Public Library for storytime in the Little House at 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Dig for dinos with the Capital Area Master Naturalists. Just what is a petroglyph? Come on by and find out while exploring the Hill Country Grotto caves. Ardi Kalter from the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory will be here with a table of archeological artifacts highlighting the prehistory of Texas.

In the Store: All fossils, plus fossil and dinosaur kits and t-shirts, will be reduced this evening!


Thursday, June 26 - Wondrous Water

Discover just how wondrous water is at this Nature Night. “Singing Zoologist”, Lucas Miller brings his blend of water and science-oriented songs and stories at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium. Explore the waterfall at the Hill Country Grotto and splash your feet in Dinosaur Creek in the Luci and Ian Family Garden. See how rainfall works with the Hays County Master Naturalists. Do you know just how important the Colorado River is to us in Austin? Find out from our friends with the Colorado River Alliance. The Thinkery captivates with the science of capillary action.  

In the Store: Water exploration kits and watering cans on special, and Sara Barnard signs her new children’s book "The ABC’s of Texas Plants" from 5 to 8 p.m.


Thursday, July 10 - Snakes

One of our most popular Nature Nights is back: Snakes! Hear famed University of Texas herpetologist, Travis LaDuc, dispel myths and celebrate snakes.To learn more about Texas snakes, go to Herps of Texas.  The Austin Reptile Service is the main attraction with a diversity of live snakes. Go on a habitat hike in search of snake evidence with City of Austin Park Ranger David Papke. The Horned Lizard Society touts the praises of the “horny toad”, a threatened species in Texas.  

In the Store: Snake books and toys are reduced 10% this evening.


Thursday, July 17 - Wildlife Tracking

Have you ever wondered what kind of animals are roaming around at night? Make tracks to the Wildflower Center to find out. Our habitat hikes will take you on a wildlife tracking adventure.Capital Area Master Naturalists show you how to make your own animal tracks. Austin Wildlife Rescue will be on hand to tell you what to do if you find an abandoned wild animal. Be on the lookout for all kinds of critters in the Luci and Ian Family Garden!

In the Store: Tracking kits and books on special, and Annette Lucksinger signs her guidebook "Exploring Austin with Kids" from 5 to 8 p.m.


Thursday, July 24 - Birds of Prey

Join us for the last Nature Night of the summer as we fly high with Birds of Prey. Back by popular demand, the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center gives a live bird presentation on the Play Lawn of the new Luci and Ian Family Garden. Explore feathers and raptor flight with Earth Native Wilderness School. Go big bird birding with Travis Audubon on garden habitat hikes. Tish Corvidae, Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Avian Director, will be here with her Eurasion Eagle Owl and a surprise bird. Dissect and examine owl pellets and other birdy activities. 

In the Store: Birds of prey gifts and books on special, and signed copies of Divya Srinivasan's "Little Owl’s Night" are available. Family Garden t-shirts available at reduced prices!

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© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center